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So close, So far

Well, we are back in J’Bay and so quickly back into the groove of things. I feel like we are here so often, and everything feels so familiar that it is almost impossible for my mind to wrap around the fact that I am over 8,000 miles from Atlanta.

Our flight here was AMAZING…no, seriously. How can a 16 hour flight be amazing, you ask?

When you have been going 150 miles an hour for the past three weeks…not sleeping much and cramming as much QT in with family and friends as possible…you board the plane to find that the absolutely wonderful Delta agent at the ticket counter moved people on the airplane so that you AND your 6 foot 5 husband EACH get a row of seats to yourselves!! You pull out the fluffy pillow you packed, unwrap a few blankets, plug in your head phones, watch a few movies (which is a wonderful thing when you haven’t seen a movie since your last flight to Africa) and then stretch out and SLEEP for 10 uninterrupted (quite comfy) hours.

We landed in Jo’burg and I seriously couldn’t believe that we had just crossed an entire Ocean and were now on the other side of the world. The flight felt so fast! Once we landed…we waited through Customs and then boarded our next flight to Port Elizabeth. After a short 1.5 hours, we met Zach (who made FRESH bread, steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes and bought Litchi water to meet us with) and drove 45 more minutes to J’Bay.

Friday morning, we woke up and we were right at home….and somehow 8,000 miles from home at the same time.

In the next few days we will be preparing for the arrival of 12 high school students from Franklin, TN…I can’t wait to meet all of these awesome group and introduce them to my favorite kiddies in the world at Ithemba on Friday morning.

Posted on May 29, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
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Recipes

Small Group- Thai Style!


As I pack my bags to leave this afternoon, I keep thinking about Monday nights, and how much I will miss the awesome group of girls in my small group. This is the first small group I have every really been in (it makes it hard to commit to something on a weekly basis when you are out of town half of the year…but these girls are so great and understanding of my crazy schedule)!

I expected to get together every week, talk about life, and try to get to know Jesus better…but I didn’t expect to make lots of new really wonderful friends…and really feel community. I love getting to “do life” with these girls…and it will be a big adjustment not having that weekly encouragement and quality time all summer long. *Don’t get me wrong, I will love every minute of being in South Africa, but sometimes I feel like I lead a double life…my heart longs to be two places at once…but, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so thankful for the opportunities that God has given Gavin and I.

Anyways, last Monday, the girls in my group came over for dinner…and since I am leaving and going to miss so much in the next two months, I wanted to do something a little special…and after a little brain storming, I knew just the thing…Thai Lettuce Wraps!

Molly introduced me to these little gems at The Cheesecake Factory a few years ago. They are light and fresh and full of vibrant flavors…the perfect spring time meal. So, I hit up the Asian market and set out to re-create the Cheesecake Factory specialty.

The best, and hardest part of the meal is all of the sauces. I am slightly (or completely) obsessed with condiments and dipping sauces, so I might have gone a bit overboard…but, I made a Carrot Ginger sauce, Sour Tamarind sauce, a Spicy Thai Chili sauce, and a Peanut Ginger Soy sauce. You can buy dipping sauces at the Asian Market that are really great as well!

The rest of the meal is super easy….

First, arrange romaine lettuce leaves on a large platter. Then, make pretty piles of grated carrots, bean sprouts (sprinkled with soy sauce and sesame oil), cucumbers (marinated in 1/2 C rice vinegar and 1 Tablespoon sugar), avocado, and fresh cilantro. Then make…

Thai Grilled Chicken- Marinate chicken 4 breasts in 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 lime, juiced, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and 1 Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger for a few hours. Then, grill the chicken and cut it into strips.
*This marinade is really great for chicken, beef or shrimp and will add a little asian flare to any meal!

Thai Curry Rice Noodles- Soak a 1/2 package of rice noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes and thoroughly drain. In a medium sauce pan simmer 1 Cup coconut milk, with 1 Tablespoon Red Thai Curry Paste until the paste is dissolved. Then, add 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce and 1/2 Cup chicken broth. Allow to simmer for about 5 minute and then gently toss the rice noodles in the curry mixture.

Once the chicken is grilled and the noodles are cooked, arrange them on the platter and serve! This is the fun part…you get to be creative and add whatever ingredients that you like best, and whatever sauces you want. Its a really fun, hands on meal for 2 or 20.

Posted on May 25, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
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Recipes

It’s Officially Summer!


Because of plane ticket prices, we decided to push our trip to Africa back by 3 days…and I am SO happy that we did! Even though we wont be here for the summer, we got to celebrate its arrival and kick of the wonderful season in the best way possible- an afternoon full of friends and really good food!

Corrine (one of the lovely girls in my small group) and her husband David hosted a crawfish boil in their back yard yesterday. It was the perfect setting…beautiful blue sky, nice shaded back yard, giant wood table covered in news paper…and oh, about 60 pounds of crawfish, with all of the best accompaniments- sausage, corn, potatoes and onions.

Corrine (who had a baby like 6 weeks ago and still threw an amazing party) made all of the classic southern favorites to snack on through out the day. Pimento cheese sandwiches, cheddar biscuits, deviled eggs…caramel cupcakes, key lime bars…what more could you ask for??

It was the perfect Sunday afternoon! And the perfect kick off to our Winter in South Africa!

Posted on May 23, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
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Recipes

Saturday Splurge- with the Hargather’s!

Well, its been a while since I have written about our Saturday splurges…but today was a good one, so I have to share!

We leave for Africa on Wednesday, for the entire summer. I am so excited to be back in J’Bay and have wonderful groups from around the US join us throughout the summer…but I am also a little sad to be leaving our friends…the Hargather’s in particular!

Last summer, we lived a few doors down from them…so we planted a shared herb garden and ate dinner together on their awesome back porch at least once a week. This summer, we will be living in winter in J’Bay (and still enjoying great dinners on our back porch) but we will be missing an essential element to the equation…Molly and Jamie (and their adorable new puppy, Scout).

So, this morning, Molly, Jamie, Scout, and our summer intern Liz joined us for brunch on our little back porch! The theme of today’s meal: clean out the fridge and somehow make it taste good all mixed together!

On the menu:
Peaches w/ Lemon Simple Syrup & Mint
Bacon
Cinnamon Sticks w/ Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce
Oatmeal Pancakes w/ Banana’s Foster Syrup
Baked Egg Skillet w/ Mushrooms, Onions, and Parmesan Cheese

We had a great morning with great company…and Scout had a little treat of his own…a doggy bone dipped in bacon grease!

Posted on May 21, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
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